Liverpool U18s had to settle for the runners-up place in the inaugural NexLions tournament after losing 2-0 to Sporting Lisbon in Singapore on Sunday.
Having beaten Singapore 1-0 in their opening match on Friday, the Liverpool team, featuring three 16-year-olds, were hoping to exact revenge on the highly rated Portuguese outfit after suffering two consecutive defeats against them in the European NexGen series.
Two second-half goals - the first scored within a minute of the restart by Luka Stojanovic and a second from substitute Luis Cortez on the 90th minute - put paid to that plan but the youngsters, without the injured Jerome Sinclair and Samed Yesil, didn't give up the game without a fight.
A long-range free-kick from Jack Dunn, deflected wide by a Sporting defender, was Liverpool's best chance from the opening half but after conceding the goal, Alex Inglethorpe's team seemed to step up a gear.
A goal-bound shot from Marc Pelosi, cleared by the last defender with the goalkeeper beaten, was the closest they came to an equaliser as they chased the game with the score still 1-0 but the 90th-minute strike from Cortez killed off any chance of a comeback and made sure Sporting Lisbon were crowned the first ever winners of the NexLions Cup.
Manchester United, having been beaten 4-1 by Sporting on Friday, defeated Singapore 2-1 earlier in the evening to claim 3rd place in the tournament.